AI Justice focuses its advocacy on the issues that concern the vulnerable populations we serve. In the current debate on immigration reform, we have emphasized the need for humane treatment of immigrants apprehended at the border and placed in holding cells, working with Senate and House members on legislation setting detention standards that uphold basic human rights standards.
We have played an active role in legislation on Violence Against Women, and our Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Program is part of a larger national movement that advocates for protections in immigration reform efforts for immigrant women who are survivors of trafficking or domestic violence.
The right to government-provided counsel in immigration proceedings for immigrant children who are otherwise forced to navigate the legal system alone is a key issue for us. We provide representation to hundreds of children in the South Florida immigration shelters each year. Without an attorney, children who have a valid claim to remain in the U.S. have only a 1% chance of prevailing. (Byrne, Olga & Miller, Elise, The Flow of Unaccompanied Children Through the Immigration System, New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2012.) We advocate for government-provided counsel for these children, so that children in areas where there is no legal services organization like AI Justice can have access to justice.